Demure De*mure", a. [Perh. from OF. de murs (i. e., de bonnes murs of good manners); de of + murs, mours, meurs, mors, F. m?urs, fr. L. mores (sing. mos) manners, morals (see {Moral}); or more prob. fr. OF. me["u]r, F. m[^u]r mature, ripe (see {Mature}) in a phrase preceded by de, as de m[^u]re conduite of mature conduct.] 1. Of sober or serious mien; composed and decorous in bearing; of modest look; staid; grave. [1913 Webster]

Sober, steadfast, and demure. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Nan was very much delighted in her demure way, and that delight showed itself in her face and in her clear bright eyes. --W. Black. [1913 Webster]

2. Affectedly modest, decorous, or serious; making a show of gravity. [1913 Webster]

A cat lay, and looked so demure, as if there had been neither life nor soul in her. --L'Estrange. [1913 Webster]

Miss Lizzy, I have no doubt, would be as demure and coquettish, as if ten winters more had gone over her head. --Miss Mitford. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • demure — (adj.) late 14c. (early 14c. as a surname), from O.Fr. meur mature, fully grown, ripe, hence discreet, from L. maturus mature (see MATURE (Cf. mature) (v.)) [OED]. The de in this word is of uncertain meaning. Or possibly from Anglo Fr. demuré… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Demure — De*mure , v. i. To look demurely. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • demure — index diffident Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • démuré — démuré, ée (dé mu ré, rée) part. passé. Une porte murée, puis démurée …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • demure — [adj] reserved, affected backward, bashful, blushing, close, coy, decorous, diffident, earnest, humble, modest, nice, prim, prissy, proper, prudish, reticent, retiring, sedate, serious, shy, silent, skittish, sober, solemn, staid, strait laced,… …   New thesaurus

  • demure — ► ADJECTIVE (demurer, demurest) ▪ (of a woman) reserved, modest, and shy. DERIVATIVES demurely adverb demureness noun. ORIGIN perhaps from Old French demourer remain, stay , influenced by mur grave …   English terms dictionary

  • demure — [di myoor′] adj. [ME demur < de (prob. intens.) + mur < OFr mëur, ripe, mature < L maturus, MATURE] 1. decorous; modest; reserved 2. affectedly modest or shy; coy SYN. SHY1 demurely adv. demureness n …   English World dictionary

  • demure — [[t]dɪmjʊ͟ə(r)[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED (approval) If you describe someone, usually a young woman, as demure, you mean they are quiet and rather shy, usually in a way that you like and find appealing, and behave very correctly. She s very demure and… …   English dictionary

  • demure — UK [dɪˈmjʊə(r)] / US [dɪˈmjʊr] adjective Word forms demure : adjective demure comparative demurer superlative demurest a) a demure woman is quiet and shy and always behaves well b) used about a woman s behaviour or the clothes that she wears a… …   English dictionary

  • demure — de|mure [dıˈmjuə US ˈmjur] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: demoré, past participle of demorer; DEMUR] 1.) quiet, serious, and well behaved used especially about women in the past ▪ Old photos of Maggie show her young and demure. 2.)… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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